Woman in police custody as car bomb probe on PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 January 2015 15:06

Death toll: 2; 57 wounded

 

Police on Saturday held a woman for questioning in connection with Friday’s bomb attack outside a nightclub in Guiwan that killed two and wounded 57 others.

Officials were tighlipped on the arrest of the woman suspect but a police source who requested anonymity as he is not authorized to talk on the case, said the woman was arrested Friday night in Barangay Cabatangan, after investigators found out the car bomb used in the attack came from her residence.

The source said investigators suspect the woman’s husband carried out the bomb attack that wrecked the Fantacy night club and shattered the window and door glasses of several shops along Lobregat Highway and the nearby bus terminal.

The same source said the car bomb’s target was the crowded bus terminal nearby where it was first seen parked on Thursday. Policemen ordered its driver to take the car out of the place. On Friday, it was parked outside the Fantacy club across the highway where it was first seen burning, followed by a shattering explosion.

A wounded motorized tricycle driver Reynaldo Tan died in a hospital two hours after the blast and another driver expired several hours later. The 57 other injured were treated in three local hospitals.

Some of the injured told Daily Zamboanga Times reporter Dan Toribio they saw a blue car burning outside the Fantacy club. Policemen in the vicinity called the fire department, but before it responded, a powerful explosion rocked the place.

Less than two hours after the blast, the Land Transportation Office district office traced the owner of the car, a Kia Pride —  who had reported it to have been carnapped last year in Paranaque City in Metro Manila.

Few Hours after the blast, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco called on residents to remain calm but vigilant as she declared that Zamboanga will carry on with the fight against “lawlessness and terrorism” together with the police and military authorities.

“Zamboanga will carry on with this fight (against lawlessness and terrorism). We have enough military forces to thwart off further eventualities,” Climaco said.

Climaco said she was not discounting the possibility that the bomb attack was part of the “diversionary tactic by lawless groups referring to the Abu Sayyaf that plotted to spring 57 of the detained members at the city jail  but was foiled last Monday with the seizure of three smuggled 45. caliber pistols from the cells of the Muslim militants.

“The real battle is to remove and extract the 57 Abu Sayyaf Group members facing sentences for crimes committed out of the city. Their cases are not heard in the city and they should not and will not be our problem,” she said.

Hours after the blast Mayor Beng Climaco called on residents anew to remain calm but vigilant as she declared that Zamboanga will carry on with the fight against lawlessness and terrorism together with the police and military authorities.

“Zamboanga will carry on with this fight (against lawlessness and terrorism). We have enough military forces to thwart off further eventualities,” the mayor declared at the blast site where she proceeded to oversee post- blast investigation and to attend to needs of blast victims.

Climaco said she was not discounting the possibility that the incident was part of a diversionary tactic by lawless groups in view of the hardened security measures at the City Reformatory Center that foiled a jailbreak attempt last Monday.

Nevertheless, the mayor said while combined police and military authorities are taking charge of security measures and post-blast investigation in the Guiwan area, another group of police and military authorities in partnership with Jail personnel are strictly monitoring situation at the Reformatory Center and other government installations and places of convergence.

“The real battle is to remove and extract the 57 Abu Sayyaf Group members facing sentences for crimes committed out of the city. Their cases are not heard in the city and they should not and will not be our problem,” the chief executive asserted.

The mayor ordered personnel from the General Service Office to clear the blast periphery of the blast site to pave the way for the resumption of traffic along the Guiwan highway.